Last Update 23:22
Monday, 25 January 2021

Al-Gamaa Al-Islamiya postpones 'protest against violence' to 15 Feb

The ultra-conservative group pushes its call for mass demonstrations against 'violent protests that seek to bring down the president's legitimacy' to mid February as other Islamist forces remain hesitant to endorse

Ahram Online , Monday 4 Feb 2013
Al-Gamaa Al-Islamiya to protest against violence next February
Supporters of Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi chant pro-Morsi slogans, during a rally in the vicinity of Cairo University and Nahdet Misr Square in Giza, on the outskirts of Cairo December 1, 2012 (Photo: Reuters)
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Islamist group Al-Gamaa Al-Islamiya and its political arm, the Building and Development Party, announced that it will hold mass demonstrations on Friday 15 February at Cairo University.

The group was intending to hold the protest on 8 February, but delayed it after several Islamist parties, including the Salafist parties Nour and Watan, declined to join.  

At a press conference in Cairo, the hardline Islamist group asked all political forces and youth groups to commit to 11 demands: achieve the January 25 revolution's goals through peaceful means; respect the choice of the Egyptian people and commitment to change through the electoral process; apply the law in regard to human rights; issue revolutionary presidential decrees to support the poor, to achieve social justice; not interfere in the work of the judiciary.

The group also called on political forces and youth groups to: commit to the establishment of a department in the ministry of interior against thuggery; give an opportunity for revolutionary youth to build the future of the country; give an opportunity to all Egyptians to build the future of the country without any exclusion; take part in an unconditional national reconciliation on all national issues; the return of the popular committees to protect public and private property; form a permanent committee of all the political powers to unify policies in order to complete the goals of the revolution.  

The group also proposed a roadmap for the country's political future, which focused on national dialogue and free elections.

Al-Gamaa Al-Islamiya leader Aboud El-Zomor stated that the opposition should adopt peaceful methods to come to power, stressing that the real popularity gauge is now the ballot box.

"Those who think they can climb the walls of the presidential palace and threaten the country and its president are wrong. Whoever enters the palace will appear hours later at the prosecutor-general's office with his hands and feet bound," he said.

"I advise the [opposition group] National Salvation Front not to waste any more of its time and lose more of its popularity. If it wants to be elected and rule it should do so through legitimate channels, elections, which it should work towards in the streets. Attacking the palace is an action we reject and will not allow," he said.

Safwat Abdel Ghany, a leading member of Al-Gamaa Al-Islamiya, said that the protest was being held "for the sake of the nation" and not to provoke clashes with opponents.

"The National Salvation Front has been exposed; it wants to bring down the president's legitimacy, and is not serious in denouncing the violence," Abdel Ghany said.

Later on Monday, the group issued a statement mourning the death of activist Mohamed El-Gendy, who died allegedly as a result of police torture, and demanding an investigation into his death and immediate trial for any found responsible.

"The members of Al-Gamaa Al-Islamiya suffered a great deal during the Mubarak era, and [some of them] were subjected to torture until death," said the group in its statement.

Recent weeks have seen violent clashes between police and protesters, prompted by the second anniversary of the January 25 revolution and repeated demonstrations against the Muslim Brotherhood and President Mohamed Morsi.  

The nationwide death toll has so far exceeded 50.

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